Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm
Room: Brandenburg Gate
Session 1: Sustainable Innovation through New Technologies & Materials
Presenter: Eri Amasawa, The University of Tokyo
Co-Authors: Mikaiki Hasegawa, Masahiko Hirao
This research proposes a series of approaches to perform viable life cycle assessment of emerging materials and technologies through a case study on automotive materials. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been established as a prominent methodology to assess environmental potential of products and technologies, where there exists number of life cycle inventory database to perform LCA of products and technologies in the market. In the recent years, there is increasing demand to assess the environmental potential of materials and technologies in the research and development phase. It is most ideal when the environmental impact of new materials and technologies are divulged prior to market introduction so that potential trade-offs are understood. However, there are two challenges in conducting viable LCA of emerging materials and technologies. First, the environmental profile at mass production scale requires estimation. Past literatures on LCA of emerging technologies have used lab-scale production data to estimate the environmental potential, which is yet to represent actual impact after market introduction. Second, functional unit must be defined carefully. When new technologies are assessed, the results are often expressed with respect to conventional technologies; however, new materials often involve new functions that the functional unit must be carefully chosen. To tackle these two challenges in the assessment of emerging materials and technologies, we examined a series of scale-up approaches and functional units through a case study with Graft Polyrotaxane (GPR) for automobile parts. GPR is a polymeric material that expects to achieve both thinness and toughness exceeding conventional limit of mechanical properties. The material is at development phase, where mass production scheme is currently under development. To assess the environmental potential of GPR, we investigated the stoichiometry, material balance, and the experimental equipment used in the synthesis of GPR at lab scale. We then computed greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for each kilogram of GPR synthesized for lab scale and estimated GHG at large scale production using number of modeling approaches. As a result, it was found that GHG per kilogram of GPR at lab scale synthesis and that of at mass production scale are not linearly correlated. Also, the GHG hotspot between lab scale and mass production scale were found to be distinct. In the presentation, we will discuss the modeling approaches and further discuss the LCA result of electric cars with GPR installed.
Presenter: Achille-B Laurent, Maastricht University
Co-Authors: Yvonne van der Meer
Adipic acid is a white crystalline solid which is a versatile building block. It has many applications, such as the manufacture of synthetic fibers, plastics, synthetic lubricants, food additives, pharmaceuticals. Nylon (nylon-6/6) is the largest market holding 57% of the global AA production (IHS Markit, 2017). Therefore the expansion of this global AA production follows the net increase of the nylon textile demand. Although AA production was 1.8 million metric tons in 1995, it exceeded expectation by rising to nearly 2.7 million metric tons in 2000. In the next five years, world consumption is expected to slow to an average rate of 2.2% per year to reach a global production of 3.6 million metric tons in 2022 (Global Industry Analysts, 2016).
N2O emissions from nitric and adipic acid plants account for about 5% of anthropogenic N2O emissions (IPCC, 2007). Additionally N2O is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential equivalent at 265 times the CO2 reference. These motivated the development of production of AA based on renewable resources such as lignocellulosic biomass (Vyver and Román-Leshkov, 2013). Indeed, reducing environmental impact, such as climate change, is one of the major challenges of today’s society. Development of bio-based products, such as biofuels and biochemical products, can reduce the petroleum dependence as well as greenhouse gas emissions simultaneously (Patel et al., 2005). In order to determine the potential reduction, Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a recognized and a standardized methodology to quantify the environmental impacts of a product or a service, ISO 14044. LCA has the advantage of considering the entire life cycle of the product, with some bio-based materials have been assessed using the LCA methodology (Patel et al., 2005). This is why an LCA was integrated in the LA2AA project. This project aims to upscaling bio-based AA production from Levulinic Acid (LA) conversion, which is extracted from wood biomass. The presentation aims to show the assessment based on the results of the LA2AA project. It also shows the results on the potential environmental impacts of the production of AA via the LA route. Moreover, this analysis led to the generation of several scenarios in order to estimate the influence of the locations of the production sites.
Global Industry Analysts, 2016. Adipic Acid Market Trends.
IHS Markit, 2017. Chemical Economics Handbook.
IPCC, 2007. Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (AR4). IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland.
Patel, M.K., Bastioli, C., Marini, L., Wurdinger, E., 2005. Life-cycle Assessment of Biobased Polymers and Natural Fiber Composites.
Vyver, S.V. de, Román-Leshkov, Y., 2013. Emerging catalytic processes for the production of adipic acid. Catal. Sci. Technol. 3, 1465–1479. doi:10.1039/C3CY20728E
Presenter: Philipp Preiss, Hochschule Pforzheim
Co-Authors: Claus Lang-Koetz, Johannes Gasde
In order to bring new promising technologies into existing well established industrial processes, there has to be an attractive innovation idea, a feasible way to implement it and a good business model. However, what else can be the barriers and drivers of an innovation?
The analysis of the environmental impact of products and services (LCA) can be done well for existing products and services. However, when the product and its production and logistic processes have not been fixed yet, it is not that easy to carry out. There is a dilemma: In the early innovation phases, on the one hand the uncertainties regarding market conditions like, regulatory frameworks, competing technologies, the knowledge on possible environmental impact but on the other hand, also the possibilities to influence the design and development of the innovation has a high degree.
The department for “Sustainable Technology and Innovation Management” currently started to conduct two distinct research projects. Both projects will cover sustainability assessment of an innovative product as well as technology and innovation management.
Regarding all the different perceptions and opinions about risks and chances among stake-holders it is inevitable to develop suitable forms of stakeholder dialogue and stakeholder knowledge integration and to embed these valuable contributions and concerns in the inno-vation process. For assessing environmental impacts, it is required to elaborate the method of a scenario-based LCA to reflect and manage uncertainties occurring at early innovation phases. Applying these methods in the early innovation phases can be seen as a chance to bring an environmentally-friendly and viable solution on the way. Additionally, the identification of specific barrier and drivers of the innovation and the market condition analysis will be used to support the teams and to perform an integrated analysis by feeding back potential future outcomes of the technologies into the innovation process.
First, in the R&D project DiWaL (..Disinfection of industrial Waters and Lacquers) a resource efficient water management and plant concept in car body painting using Pulsed Electric Field Treatment (PEFT) for disinfection in the pre-treatment and dip coating is developed. The implementation should lead to a reduction of water usage, less discharge of biocides and a reduction of the risk of bacterial resistance. We work together with the plant manufacturer Eisenmann, car manufacturer BMW, paint supplier PPG and FreiLacke and the developer of the PEFT, i.e. the Institute for Pulsed Power and Microwave Technology of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
Second, the R&D project MaReK (Marker based sorting and Recycling system for plastic packaging). At the core of the new sorting system is the so-called „Tracer-Based Sorting (TBS)“. The high-tech marker substance shows fluorescent properties when irradiated with a specific kind of light during the sorting process. The marker substances will be added to packaging materials or labels of the packaging. The sorting machine is exploiting this effect for packaging identification and sorting of the marked objects. In this way plastic waste can be separated and can be specifically recycled – independently of form, colour and contamination. In this project, we work together with the companies Polysecure GmbH, Werner & Mertz GmbH, Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH, the Institute of Microstructure Technology of the KIT.
Presenter: Juliana Segura Salazar, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Co-Authors: Luís Marcelo Tavares
Mining operations, in spite of being essential for various production chains involved in the anthropogenic system, have also resulted in a number of socioenvironmental impacts. A series of drivers such as the decline in ore quality and in mineral commodity prices, the growing socioenvironmental concerns, and the increasing need to satisfy the consumer goods market, are influencing the minerals industry to adopt more systemic approaches and technological innovation. However, these needs contrast with the relative conservatism and risk aversion of this sector in practice [1,2], thus being the technical and economic aspects still predominant in the decision-making process of mining projects. In order to improve the environmental sustainability of mining operations through the adoption of well-established tools such as LCA, there are still some methodological limitations such as the lack of reliable and detailed Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) in the foreground processes that go beyond simple average values, or simply lack of data, especially in developing countries  where large-scale mining projects are increasing in number . The consideration of the particularities of this industry in terms of ore properties, type of technology, geographic context, among others is, therefore, necessary. In the context of the life cycle of a mining project—from exploration to site rehabilitation—the design and operation stages become key in the potential reduction of environmental impacts and in eco-efficiency improvement [4,5]. In that sense, the computational modeling and process simulation tools can help providing important subsidies in the early stages of a mining project, as well as in process optimization. The present work critically analyzes the development of these tools, aiming to couple them with LCA. Indeed, process modeling has evolved significantly in the mining sector over the last decades, from simple empirical models to a combination of phenomenological and hybrid models that tend to broaden the predictability spectrum in the performance of unit operations and processes, although with restrictions. These platforms consider to a greater or lesser extent the characteristics of ores and a set of technologies and are also on the way to a progressively integrated mine-to-product approach. From this analysis, it is evident that, although a full computational coupling between LCA tools and process simulators in the minerals industry is still lacking, potential synergy may be found in the integrated use of these tools, for example in terms of improving the LCI data quality through a systematic modeling of LCA scenarios and uncertainties.
- Petrie, J. New Models of Sustainability for the Resources Sector. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 85, 88–98 (2007).
- Curran, M. A (Ed.). Life cycle assessment handbook: a guide for environmentally sustainable products. (John Wiley & Sons, 2012). (Scrivener Publishing LLC, 2012).
- Moran, C. J., Lodhia, S., Kunz, N. C. & Huisingh, D. Sustainability in mining, minerals and energy: New processes, pathways and human interactions for a cautiously optimistic future. J. Clean. Prod. 84, 1–15 (2014).
- McLellan, B. C., Corder, G. D., Giurco, D. & Green, S. Incorporating sustainable development in the design of mineral processing operations – Review and analysis of current approaches. J. Clean. Prod. 17, 1414–1425 (2009).
- Pimentel, B. S., Gonzalez, E. S. & Barbosa, G. N. O. Decision-support models for sustainable mining networks: Fundamentals and challenges. J. Clean. Prod. 112, 2145–2157 (2016).